Trade association meeting

McCall: NCMA work continues

October 25, 2004

By Devin Steele

GREENSBORO, NC — While manufacturing jobs have been lost at a breakneck pace in North Carolina in recent years, more than 600,000 people in the state still earn their living at a production facility, Tom McCall pointed out during the 98th annual meeting of the North Carolina Manufacturers Association (NCMA) here recently.

Bernie Hodges (above) of Wade Manufacturing Co., Wadesboro, NC, asks a question during the recent annual meeting of the North Carolina Manufacturers Association (NCMA).

Of that number, “not an insignificant” 100,000-plus people still work in the textile and apparel industries, he added.

That said, McCall, outgoing chairman of the association, indicated that the NCMA will continue to work to improve the environment for those remaining manufacturers.

“It is important to recognize NCMA’s task of keeping our state government officials informed about what they can do to help enhance the business climate for manufacturing here in North Carolina,” said McCall, plant manager of WestPoint Stevens’ Bob Stevens Fabrication Plant in Wagram, NC.

To that end, McCall touched on a number of hot-button issues in which the NCMA is deeply involved — notably, taxes and regulations at the state level.

“It is important to talk about what the General Assembly doesn’t do as it is to talk about what the General Assembly does,” said McCall, who was succeeded as chairman by Randy Ramsey of Jarrett Bay Boatworks, Beaufort, NC. “This is because there are a number of folks serving there who would be delighted to increase our taxes and regulate us out of business.

“One ... actually pushed legislation to disallow our ability to deduct executive salaries as ordinary business expenses,” he added. “So when I say that the General Assembly did nothing like that and that it passed no new business taxes of any sort, I am giving it high praise. Likewise, all efforts to further burden us with unnecessary water and air regulation were defeated, to the chagrin of the so-called environmentalists, and no bills were passed that would increase our growing health care costs.”

McCall also noted that, while much has changed over NCMA’s 98-year history, and during the next couple of years, the pace of change will accelerate dramatically.

“Many of our member companies whose roots reach back over the decades are no longer with us,” he said. “But those who have weathered the storms look ahead with cautious optimism and an unwavering commitment to succeed in the emerging global market.”

With 55 percent of NCMA’s membership being textile and apparel producers, the group’s traditional base, McCall said that the single greatest challenge facing many of its members is the elimination of global quotas on textile and clothing products on Jan. 1. As an ominous point, he noted that when 29 textile categories were released from quota control in 2002, the Chinese quickly captured 72 percent of the U.S. market in those non-quota categories.

“The disruption caused by this was felt around the world,” he said. “Recent history in countries such as Japan and Australia point out exactly what the Chinese will do when all textile quotas are eliminated. The Chinese will seek to knock out all foreign competition at any cost. And this doesn’t happen by accident. This happens by central government planning. This happens because, say what you will, the government of China controls its economy and currency. This is what a communist state is all about — central planning.”

He informed the group of the U.S. textile coalition’s plans to file special safeguard petitions based on imminent threat of market disruption of certain textile and apparel categories.

“When our government asked the Chinese to consider voluntary restraints earlier this month, the Chinese roughly replied, ‘no way, Jose,’ ” McCall said. “Ironically, many of my predecessors’ reports given at NCMA annual meetings over the years sounded warnings about how our federal government was harming our ‘free enterprise system’ by imposing federal controls on American companies.

“Today, my warning is about how our federal government is harming the ‘free trade system’ by failing to impose controls on foreign countries engaged in unfair trade.”

Perdue honored

During the meeting, the NCMA honored NC Lieutenant Gov. Beverly Perdue with its 2004 Chairman’s Award.

NCMA Chairman Tom McCall presents NC Lieutenant Gov. Beverly Perdue the 2004 Chairman’s Award. Photos by Devin Steele

“Lieutenant Governor Perdue had been a fighter in the Legislature for 14 years for excellence in education, access to quality health care and bridging the urban/rural divide,” said McCall, in presenting the award. “She has always given an ear to our concerns, a vision to our future and a voice to our priorities in North Carolina.”

After receiving the award, Perdue spent time discussing hurricane damage in western North Carolina as well as the upcoming elections.

-----------------------------------

McCall: NCMA work continues

GREENSBORO, NC — Randy Ramsey of Jarrett Bay Boatworks, Beaufort, NC, was elected chairman of the North Carolina Manufacturers Association (NCMA) at its 98th annual meeting here.

Randy Ramsey accepts group’s nomination.

Succeeds Tom McCall of WestPoint Stevens, Wagram, NC, Ramsey becomes the first person from a non-textile or apparel producer to be elected to the association’s top industry post.

Ramsey was the association’s first vice chairman and Boat Builders Division chairman during 2003-2004 and has served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee since 2002.

E. Randolph Snyder, president of Hanes Dye & Finishing Company of Winston-Salem, NC, captured the nod for first vice chairman.

Neil Koonce, vice president and general counsel of International Textile Group (ITG), Greensboro, was elected second vice chairman.

Ramsey is president and co-founder of Jarrett Bay Boatworks, which specializes in the construction of custom sport fishing boats and the repair of all types of marine craft. Ramsey currently holds a United States Coast Guard Masters License and a private helicopter pilot license.

Snyder served as second vice president of NCMA in 2003-2004. He is a graduate of NC State University. He was a signal officer in the U.S. Army and is a Vietnam veteran. He has been with Hanes Dye Finishing for 18 years.

Koonce has served on the Board of Directors since 2003. A native of Kinston, NC, he received a B.A. from the UNC-Chapel Hill and his juris doctorate from Wake Forest University.

-----------------------------------

‘Old, angry, white man’ tag accurate, Chesnutt says

For more lengthy transcription of Chesnutt's rebutal, click here

By Devin Steele

GREENSBORO, NC — Jim Chesnutt, who gave Jim Leonard of the U.S. Department of Commerce an earful during last year’s annual meeting of the North Carolina Manufacturers Association (NCMA), was asked to formally respond to the government official’s remarks at this year’s gathering.

Leonard, a former Burlington Industries executive, spent a fair amount of time apprising members of latest trade matters at the federal level. Playing along with the planned rebuttal program, which could have been dubbed the “Jousting Jims,” the deputy assistant secretary of Commerce yielded the floor to Chesnutt with this caveat: “And now you’re going to hear the ‘real’ story ... ”

And it didn’t take long for Chesnutt, vice chairman of the National Council of Organizations (NCTO), to get into form — that of a passionate orator with strong convictions who doesn’t believe this government is doing enough to aid the efforts of U.S. manufacturers.

Chesnutt, who called Leonard “a good friend,” got off to an eye-opening start: “I’ve been described as an old, angry white man ... and that’s true.”

Perhaps that characterization originated from an impromptu “debate” between Chesnutt and Leonard in the spring of 2003 during another association meeting, at which time Chesnutt vehemently vented his frustrations with the U.S. government.

“One day about a year and a half ago, Jim Leonard happened to catch me after we had just told 800 people that they no longer had jobs,” said Chesnutt, president and CEO of National Spinning Co., Washington, NC. “You betcha I was angry.”

That round-1 meeting also came on the heels of the finalization of the bilateral trade agreement with Vietnam, which Chesnutt also referred to this go ’round.

“(The) Vietnam (deal) probably happened because there are so many people who feel so bad about that war that we gave up and turned tail and ran,” Chesnutt said. “What we gave away was criminal. It was criminally insane. And we’re learning that Vietnam is just as corrupt and just as bad as China is. The Vietnam agreement was an absolutely horrible, horrible bilateral and will continue to do extreme harm to this industry.”

The deal also happened because of the deep pockets of the retailing community, Chesnutt added.

“At the end of the day it’s a money game controlled by the multinationals,” Chesnutt said. “The retailers said ‘we are going to give you better quality and maybe your price will go down.’ But watch what happens to the earnings of the retailers and watch what happens to the salaries of the CEOs at the big retail firms. We are driven by greed in this country.”

Chesnutt acknowledged that, with the aid an industry insider such as Leonard working in the Bush administration, the federal government has taken notice of the plight of the U.S. textile industry. But the efforts of the federal government has yet to make much of a difference in the outcome, he added.

“The administration, I believe, has begun to recognize what this administration and prior administrations have done to the textile industries in this country,” Chesnutt said. “But Mr. Bush is still controlled by the multinational companies. The big companies control Washington and don’t you ever forget that. He is still controlled and is still a free trader and still says something that makes you wonder if in fact this administration is going to do something to try to at least let us maintain 600,000 or 700,000 (textile and apparel) jobs in this country.”

Related to other the China safeguard mechanism, Chesnutt told Leonard that the industry could support the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) — warts and all — for all of the recently filed safeguards to be approved by the U.S. government

“We would take a quid pro quo today on a CAFTA as it is for the safeguards,” he said. “But you can’t deliver that one, can you? I have pledged to (U.S. Trade Representative) Bob Zoellick to do everything I can to help get a CAFTA passed because this administration needs it and this hemisphere needs it — badly.”

Textile News Index


China safeguards

Threat-based petitions filed

October 25, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC — A coalition of six U.S. apparel, textile and fiber-producing trade associations and a labor union on Oct. 13 filed four additional safeguard petitions seeking to limit certain textile imports from China, based on a looming threat.

The filing came five days after the groups filed a similar petition covering another category. Spokespersons for the coalition said that, all told, 10 petitions were to be filed this month and would cover 15 of the 91 product categories on which U.S. quotas will expire on January 1.

The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC), the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), the National Cotton Council (NCC), SEAMS, the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) and UNITE HERE! said the four petitions cover roughly $1.96 billion in U.S. textile and clothing imports.

This accounts for 13.8 percent of the $14.21 billion in Chinese imports and 2.5 percent of the $77 billion in imports from the world, including China, in 2003 in the targeted products. In terms of the $151 billion in U.S. imports of all goods from China in 2003, these petitions affect only about 1.3 percent of that trade, according to the coalition.

The groups also said that they expect to file three more petitions. These petitions would request an extension of the safeguards placed by the U.S. government on December 24, 2003 on five categories: 350/650 (cotton and manmade fiber dressing gowns and robes), 349/649 (cotton and manmade fiber brassieres) and 222 (knit fabric).

In addition, the coalition supporting the 13 petitions covering 21 categories said it is examining the possibility of filing additional threat-based petitions covering other categories as the merits of the facts allow.

“Quotas on all textile and clothing products are scheduled to expire on January 1, 2005,” said Cass Johnson, president of NCTO. “In the apparel and home textile categories released from quota in January 2002, China exploded from less than 10 percent market share in 2001 to more than 70 percent market share as of June 2004. Absent the implementation of safeguards, China will capture similar market share post-2005 and destroy the textile and apparel manufacturing complex, one of the largest employment sectors in the United States.”

The petitions were filed with the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA). CITA is a five-member interagency group comprised of representatives from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, Labor and Treasury as well as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. At least three agencies must vote to approve any safeguard petition.

Once a safeguard petition is filed, CITA has 15 working days to accept or reject the petition on its technical merits. If the petition is accepted, a 30-day public comment then commences, followed by a 60-day CITA decision-making window.

If CITA approves a safeguard petition, by terms of its WTO accession agreement with the United States, a consultation period then begins. If no agreement is reached between the parties, the United States can limit Chinese exports in the safeguard categories to 7.5 percent growth.

A safeguard petition covering categories 347 (men’s and boys’ and women’s and girls’ cotton trousers) and 348 (men’s and boys’ and women’s and girls’ manmade fiber trousers) was filed on October 8. The other petitions cover such categories as manmade fiber shirts, underwear, synthetic filament fabric, cotton sheets and cotton yarn.

“China’s export surge in categories released from quota in 2002 is directly attributable to the illegal and unfair subsidies given to their producers in an effort to drive all other competitors out of the market,” said Karl Spilhaus, president of NTA. “These subsidies include illegal currency manipulation, non-performing loans, state-owned enterprises, reduced or free utilities, shipping and property taxes, free land and factories and export tax rebates.

“No industry playing by free-market rules can compete with an industry allowed to sell into a free-market but not play by free-market rules,” he added.

In recent years, the financial condition of the U.S. domestic sewn products industry, including manufacturers of trousers and other apparel articles has worsened, with recent declines in virtually every measure of financial health, including declines in sales, volume, production, employment and capacity utilization, said Sarah Friedman, executive director of SEAMS.

“We believe this decline will rapidly accelerate if the U.S. government does not approve the China safeguard petitions discussed today,” she said.

Endorsing the petition on cotton trousers was Mark Lange, president of NCC.

“The U.S. currently manufactures about 45 million dozen cotton trousers annually,” Lange said. “The U.S. imports 63 million dozen from NAFTA and the CBI (Caribbean Basin), mostly made with U.S. components. Any surge of Chinese exports will come at the direct expense of U.S. manufacturers and hemispheric partners using U.S. components. This will hurt the entire U.S. cotton industry.”

The Global Alliance for Fair Textile Trade (GAFTT), a coalition of 96 textile and clothing manufacturing trade associations from 54 countries, urged the U.S. government to approve the threat-based textile China safeguard petition filings.

“The need for a comprehensive and immediate WTO solution to the international crisis in textile and clothing trade is well understood by much of the world,” said Ziya Sukun, executive director of ITKIB Association of New York, a trade association representing Turkish textile and clothing manufacturing interests. “The quota system has worked precisely as intended, encouraging the development of private-sector textile and clothing manufacturing industries in all corners of the globe. Now much of that development stands at the brink of destruction unless the U.S. government uses its safeguards in a timely and effective manner.”

The relief provided by the safeguards will help give the WTO the time necessary to address the negative impact of the worldwide expiration of quotas on textile and clothing products, he added.

“The coalition members participating in the safeguard filings extensively researched new investment in China to expand textile and apparel manufacturing capacity, Chinese production and export trends and Chinese productive capacity,” said Auggie Tantillo, executive director of AMTAC. “We also explored China’s unfair trading practices and their export performance. Finally, we scrutinized independent studies on how the expiration of quotas on textile and apparel products will affect the U.S. market.

“The evidence collected leads to the conclusion that Chinese exports in the categories covered by the petitions will surge into the U.S. in 2005 and cause irreparable damage.”

Textile News Index


AATCC awards

Keyes, Singer, Bacon, Freeman receive honors

October 25, 2004

GREENVILLE, SC — The American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists (AATCC) recently presented awards during its annual International Conference & Exhibition (IC&E) here.

This year, AATCC’s IC&E was co-located with the American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International (ATME-I) at the Palmetto Expo Center. The awards were presented during a banquet at the Hyatt Regency here.

In recognition for her outstanding service to the Association, AATCC named Norma M. Keyes this year’s recipient of The Harold C. Chapin Award.

AATCC presented Leonard S. Singer and Roger Bacon as co-recipients of the Henry E. Millson Award for Invention for their work on the development of high performance carbon fibers.

Meanwhile, Harold S. Freeman received The Olney Medal for achievement in textile chemistry.

Keyes, a native of Pulaski, VA, holds a B.S. in home economics and an M.S. in home economics education-textiles from Radford University. She has served in various technical and management positions at Cotton Incorporated, and currently serves as director of Fiber Quality Research.

A member of AATCC since 1971, Keyes has served with great distinction in the technical activities of the association, both as member and chair of a number of technical committees. She has also been a member of ASTM International, Committee D13 Textiles, since 1990.

Keyes has been active in international test method development, serving as a U.S. delegate and delegate leader to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee TC38 Textiles, Subcommittee 1 tests for coloured textiles and colorants and chair of Subcommittee 2 on cleansing, finishing and water resistance tests.

The Chapin Award was established in 1958 in honor of Harold C. Chapin, professor of chemistry at Lowell Textile School, who served as national secretary of AATCC for nearly 25 years.

A native of Cleveland Heights, OH, Bacon obtained a B.A. in physics from Haverford College in 1951, then a Ph.D in physics at the Case Institute of Technology in 1955. Bacon demonstrated the first high-performance carbon fibers in 1958 while working at the Union Carbide Parma Technical Center (today part of GrafTech International).

He then went on to help develop a method of producing the carbon fibers from heat-stretched rayon that enabled the first commercial production of carbon fibers in the early 1960s. These rayon-based carbon fibers are today primarily used in military applications.

A native of Middletown, PA, Singer attained a B.S. in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1943 and a Ph.D in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1950. Additionally, he obtained a post-doctoral fellowship from Cornell University in 1950-1951.

Singer’s research at the Union Carbide Parma Center led to the development in 1970 of a method to produce carbon fibers from pitch. These pitch-based carbon fibers are today used in military and space applications, as well as aircraft brakes.

AATCC named the Millson Award for Invention for Henry E. Millson, a noted inventor who was also head of dyes research for American Cyanamid. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to textile technology.

A native of Raleigh, NC, Freeman obtained a B.S. in chemistry from North Carolina A&T University in 1973, an M.S. in organic chemistry from North Carolina State University in 1978 and a Ph.D in organic chemistry from NC State in 1981.

In 1982 he joined NCSU as an associate professor of textile chemistry. He became the NCSU Ciba-Geigy professor of dye chemistry in 1990, and the associate head and director of graduate programs for the department of textile engineering, chemistry and science at NCSU in 1996.

For 20 years, Freeman has headed the only U.S.-based academic research laboratory dedicated to the design and synthesis of organic dyes for textile applications. Freeman is an author of nearly 200 scientific publications and six patents. He joined AATCC in 1982, and is also a member of the American Chemical Society, the National Technical Association, the Society of Dyers and Colourists, Sigma Xi, Genotoxicity and Environmental Mutagenicity Society, the National Organization of Black Chemists and Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He was named co-editor of Dyes and Pigments in 1998, and won the AATCC J. William Weaver Award in 1992.

Established in 1944 in honor of Louis Atwell Olney, the founder and first president of AATCC, The Olney Medal recognizes outstanding achievement in textile or polymer chemistry or other fields of chemistry of major importance to textile science.

ASTM, AATCC sign memorandum

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, PA — The ASTM International Committee D13 on Textiles and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to serve together as administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ISO/TC38-Textiles.

ASTM Committee D13 and AATCC had been serving as interim TAG co-administrators since the previous administrator, the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI), disbanded earlier this year.

The purpose of the ISO/TC38 TAG is to formulate a U.S. position on documents of interest pertaining to the International Organization for Standards (ISO) on textile standards, to articulate U.S. opinions and to approve delegates to ISO/TC38 meetings.

ISO/TC38 activity is accomplished on behalf of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the U.S. member body to ISO. ASTM Committee D13 and AATCC have served together previously to co-administer the TAG.

ASTM International committees currently administer or co-administer over 200 ISO TAGs.

In addition to their TAG responsibilities, ASTM Committee D13 and the AATCC have a history of working together.

Textile News Index


Equipment suppliers

SDL Atlas, Intertek form joint venture

October 25, 2004

CHICAGO — Atlas Material Testing Technology, part of the SDL Atlas group of companies, and Intertek have formed a joint venture comprised of SDL Atlas and SafQ.

The new company will carry the SDL Atlas name. SafQ will be transitioned to the SDL Atlas name over several months.

SDL Atlas reflects the combined resources of SDL International, Atlas Textile Test Products, Raitech and Textile Innovators.

SafQ is a distributor of textile testing equipment, with sales and service offices in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing. SafQ was formerly known as Intertek Equipment Services.

SDL Atlas is a world-leading supplier of textile testing equipment and solutions. With the addition of SafQ, SDL Atlas will have an even greater capacity to provide instrumentation, installation, calibration, training, support and other services through its network of distributors, agents and service centers in more than 80 countries.

Separately, SDL Atlas announced the introduction of a time- and cost-saving alternative to the traditional manual process of using chemicals to determine the quality and composition of blended fibers.

The company’s new Fiber Imaging Analysis (FIA) system is Windows-based and designed specifically for measuring longitudinal and cross-sectional features of natural as well as synthetic fibers. The system includes a monocular zoom microscope, a motorized stage, sample preparation device and image analysis software.

Uster to establish operations in China

Switzerland-based Uster Technologies AG announced plans to make a direct investment in China to establish a local presence for manufacturing and development.

“China is now a significant market for Uster Technologies,” said CEO Dr. Geoffrey Scott. “Our customers have benefited from recent investments in our long-established sales and service operation to increase our presence in all the major textile areas, with local sales and service engineers in Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Urumuqi and Wuhan. The time is now right for us to take the next step in expanding our operations in China with local manufacturing and development.”

This decision is part of Uster Technologies’ strategy to significantly invest in the Chinese market and grow business with products manufactured for the domestic Chinese market, Scott added.

DuPont appoints Asia company to network

WILMINGTON, DE — DuPont Ink Jet announced the appointment of Hangzhou Kaiyuan Computer Technology Co. Ltd. (Kaiyuan), to its global sales network for DuPont™ Artistri™ digital printing for textiles.

Hangzhou Kaiyuan was founded in 1992 and develops and manufactures dyeing and printing CAD/CAM/ERP systems for the textile industry in China.

Textile News Index


Briefs

SMART members gather for meeting

October 25, 2004

BETHESDA, MD — More than 60 executives and industry leaders in the textile recycling industry recently attended the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) Southeast Regional Meeting in Atlanta.

During the board of directors meeting, members voted to hold the 2006 regional meetings in New Jersey, Toronto and Las Vegas.

SMART’s membership includes company owners, business executives, plant managers, sales people and other for-profit entities dealing in the processing and distribution of recycled textile material throughout the world.

Fashion Institute plans to honor three at benefit

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) benefit dinner gala will honor leaders in the fashion industry on Tuesday, November 9.

This year’s honorees are Sy Stewart, limited partner, Barington Capital Group; Vera Wang, chairman and CEO, Vera Wang Inc.; and Mark Weber, president and COO, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation. FIT celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

The event raises funds for the Student Scholarship and Educational Fund of FIT’s Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries (EFFI).

Tickets begin at $500 for individuals and $5,000 for tables. For information, contact the FIT EFFI office at 212-217-7820.

Textile News Index


People

On the Move

October 25, 2004

Shuford taps Jimison in sales, marketing

HICKORY, NC — Jeff R. Jimison has been named director of sales and marketing for Outdura™, a performance fabric produced and marketed by Shuford Mills, LLC.

Jimison joined Shuford Mills in 1997, serving the first three years in yarn sales. In 2000, he transferred to the company’s fabric segment, where he helped to introduce Outdura.

For the last six months, Jimison has directed marketing and advertising for the Outdura line and has been involved in the technical and creative aspects of its ongoing development.

Before joining Shuford Mills, Jimison was with Reeves Brothers Inc. in Spartanburg, SC. He joined the company as production superintendent at the company’s Osage Plant and later was director of planning and product development for Reeves Brothers’ Apparel Textile Group.

Jimison holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Sacred Heart College. He completed additional course work at the NC State University College of Textiles.

Nano-Tex expands management team

EMERYVILLE, CA — Nano-Tex™, LLC, a leading provider of textile-enhancing products to apparel companies, announced it has added Kim Houchens, Ph.D., as chief technology officer and Mark Brutten as senior vice president of marketing to its management team.

Houchens brings more than 16 years experience managing new product development with a focus on growth strategies, innovation through rapid commercialization and team development.

She has become an expert in the Stage-Gate™ product development process and in the project and portfolio management techniques that support this process.

Prior to joining Nano-Tex, Houchens was director of technology and new product development at OMNOVA Solutions in the Decorative Products division. Previously, she worked for The Dow Chemical Company as technology development leader for the Specialty Fibers division.

Houchens earned a Ph.D. in textile technology and management and an M.S. in textile engineering chemistry and science from North Carolina State University, in addition to a B.S. in clothing and textile science from Michigan State University.

Brutten brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, brand strategy and advertising with some of the world’s most recognized and respected brands.

His work has earned industry recognition, including three Clio advertising awards.

Before joining Addis, he was vice president of marketing and business development at Productopia.com, and he led brand marketing efforts at When.com, Excite and SegaSoft.

Brutten holds a B.S. in marketing and advertising from the Indiana University School of Business.

Culp, Inc. shareholders elect board members

HIGH POINT, NC — Culp, Inc. shareholders elected three directors to new three-year terms expiring with the 2007 annual meeting and two directors to fill vacancies with terms expiring in 2005.

Howard L. Dunn Jr., H. Bruce English and Kenneth W. McAllister were each re-elected to a three-year term. The company also added two new directors, Jean L.P. Brunel of Brunel Associates and Kenneth R. Larson of Slumberland Furniture.

Russell appoints Koney chief financial officer

ATLANTA — Russell Corporation has named Robert D. Koney Jr. chief financial officer.

Koney will be joining Russell from Goodrich Corporation, where he has been since 1986. His last position was vice president, controller and chief accounting officer.

Prior to Goodrich, Koney had been manager of federal taxation with Picker International for four years and a senior tax accountant. He began his career as a staff auditor with Arthur Andersen & Company in 1978.

Koney graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a B.B.A. degree in accounting and earned his M.B.A. degree from Case Western Reserve University. He received his Certified Public Accountant designation in 1980.

Calleran replaces Salter at Belding Hausman

NEW YORK — Belding Hausman, Inc. announced that Carl Salter, vice president of sales and marketing, has resigned to pursue other interests.

Salter served in that capacity for eight years.

Paul Calleran has been named to replace Salter. He has been sales manager of Belding’s Blair House Division for several years.

Calleran holds a B.A. degree from Fordham University and a master’s degree in economics and business management from Loyola University.

Cotton Inc. promotes Dupuis in forecasting

NEW YORK — Cotton Incorporated has promoted Claire Dupuis to the new position of senior trend forecaster, to be located in the company’s Los Angeles office.

The new position is a result of the restructuring of the Fashion Marketing department. Dupuis will continue to report to Kathryn Novakovic, director, Fashion Marketing.

Dupuis previously held the position of trend forecaster, Juniors in Cotton Inc.’s New York office, monitoring the streetwear and denim markets in that category.

Dupuis previously worked in brand development for Tag-It Pacific.

She is a graduate of Stephens College in Columbia, MO, where she earned a B.F.A. in fashion design.

Cotton Incorporated also has hired Jaime Flores Cornejo as director, Mexico City, Global Product Marketing.

Cornejo will be responsible for managing the Mexico City operations and developing strategies and programs that will influence demand for U.S. cotton and its products in Mexico, Central America and South America.

Cornejo has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and dual master degrees in textile engineering and administration.

Cornejo previously served with the Textile Technology Center.

Textile News Index


Mill notes

Unifi to cut nearly 500 jobs in Kinston

October 25, 2004

GREENSBORO, NC — Unifi, Inc. announced Oct. 19 that it will be shutting two production lines and downsizing its recently acquired Kinston, NC, facility, putting about 490 people out of work.

The textured yarn company acquired the facility on Sept. 30 in a transaction valued at about $22.5 million.

The company currently operates four production lines at the facility. Unifi said it expects to close a line in December and a second line by March 31.

The acquisition resulted in a more vertically integrated base of operations for the company in the U.S. through the addition of polymer spinning, Unifi said. As a part of the deal, the manufacturing alliance between Unifi and INVISTA and all related agreements were terminated.

“At the time we announced this acquisition, we stated that our first priority would be to streamline the product mix and production lines between Kinston and our existing domestic polyester operations to optimize capacity to fit the market,” said Bill Lowe, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Unifi. “This is one of the first major steps that we are taking quickly to get this operation on track and contributing positively to our operating results.

“This is a coordinated effort with our other polyester operations to exit non-profitable business and establish a solid base upon which to build value in the future for our shareholders, bondholders, and employees,” he added.

The Kinston facility currently has about 740 full-service and contract employees.

Delta Woodside to trim 361 jobs in SC closing

GREENVILLE, SC — Delta Woodside Industries, Inc. said Oct. 21 that it will close its Estes Plant, a cotton and cotton blend spinning and weaving facility in Piedmont, SC.

The closing is planned to be completed in about 30 days and will affect about 361 hourly and salaried employees, the company said.

The closing is part of a comprehensive realignment plan that will streamline operations and provide for significant cost reductions, which the board of directors approved, Delta Woodside said.

The company also reported that on October 18, GMAC, the company’s revolving credit lender, granted the firm’s operating subsidiary, Delta Mills, Inc., an amendment to its revolving credit agreement that reduces the required minimum EBITDA levels for each quarter of fiscal 2005. This move should allow the company to remain in compliance while executing the realignment plan, Delta Woodside said.

“Our industry and more specifically, our company continues to suffer from a high level of over capacity in the textile industry, inconsistent demand at retail and pressure from foreign imports that could intensify in January of 2005 with the elimination of import quotas among WTO member states,” said W. F. Garrett, president and CEO.

In connection with the closing and cost reduction initiatives, Delta said it expects to record a pre-tax charge in the second quarter of fiscal year 2005 ranging from $9 to $12 million comprised of $3 to $4 million in cash charges and $5 to $8 million in non-cash charges.

ITG gets loans from Bank of America

GREENSBORO, NC — Bank of America Business Capital announced Oct. 18 that it has issued a $150 million senior secured credit facility for International Textile Group, Inc. (ITG), a leading textile fabrics producer.

Consisting of a revolver, term loan and capital expenditure line, the credit facility will be used to refinance existing debt and provide for ongoing capital requirements. Bank of America will also provide letters of credit. ITG is owned by private equity sponsor Wilbur Ross & Company.

Based here, International Textile Group was formed when financier Wilbur Ross merged Burlington Industries, Inc. and Cone Mills, Inc. earlier this year.

“Bank of America Business Capital structured a deal with limited financial covenants giving us the flexibility to pursue our global business strategy,” said ITG President and CEO Joseph L. Gorga. “This asset-based loan also supports our growing sales to international customers by providing advances against certain foreign receivables.”

Textile News Index


WTO appeal

NCC behind USTR appeal in dispute

October 25, 2004

MEMPHIS — The National Cotton Council said it agrees with the Oct. 18 filing by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office of an appeal in the Brazil/U.S. World Trade Organization (WTO) case.

The WTO Panel that heard Brazil’s challenge of the U.S. cotton program ruled against the United States on many of Brazil’s substantive points. The document, which became public in early September, found that the U.S. violated the Peace Clause; that the Step 2 program and the export credit guarantee program constitute prohibited subsidies; that direct payments do not qualify as “green box” payments; and that the presence of the domestic cotton program caused “serious prejudice” to Brazil’s cotton interests.

William Gillon, the National Cotton Council’s international trade counsel, said the NCC is hopeful that the panel’s initial ruling will be substantially revised by the WTO appellate body. He said the appeal process will take several more months and even then, parties are given a reasonable amount of time in which to comply with any WTO rulings upheld on appeal.

NCC Chairman Woody Anderson reiterated the U.S. cotton industry’s disagreement with the panel’s decision regarding the U.S. cotton program and expects no immediate changes to the U.S. cotton program.

Following the public release of the panel’s decision last month, the NCC issued a statement saying the panel’s finding of serious prejudice seems contrary to 33 years of stability in the share of the world market held by United States cotton and, indeed, a loss of market share in 2002.

The decision also runs counter to recent findings by an independent Texas Tech University study that showed estimated price impacts from the U.S. cotton program ranging from less than 1/2 of a percent to just more than 2 percent. That’s about a quarter of a cent to 1.2 cents per pound.

“A more decoupled U.S. cotton program, a lower loan rate, a lower target price, a stable world market share, an unbiased economic study showing minimal price impacts and Brazil’s own dramatic increase in cotton production all point to a U.S. cotton program that is not causing serious prejudice to Brazil, or any other country in the world,” Anderson said.

Textile News Index


Cotton

Supima cotton fabrics showcased on runway

October 25, 2004

NEW YORK — Supima took to the runway recently as fabrics made with American Pima cotton were prominently featured in a show by trend-setting designers Matthew Morgan and Alessandro Poddie.

The two, who together create the Morgan d’Alessandro line, used Supima cotton in many of the nearly 30 ensembles in their spring/summer 2005 men’s collection.

An audience of some 300 guests, fashion reporters and trend aficionados saw Supima fabrics in a rainbow of vibrant colors and in a variety of styles, from T-shirts to a suave cream two-button suit that opened the show.

Everyone in the audience at the trendy MaoSpace location in Manhattan received a complimentary T-shirt made with Supima cotton and carrying the Supima® hang-tag, as well as the designers’ own label.

The award-winning designers — a unique merger of talent and vision by Morgan, from Omaha, Nebraska and Poddie, from Sardinia, Italy — set their 2005 collection to a hip theme of “recapturing the glamorous days of Monte Carlo and St. Tropez updated for today’s rock stars and royals.” A parade of male models sported outfits from casual sportswear to tailored suits, all in attention-grabbing colors that exemplified Supima’s superior characteristics in dyeing.

Supima’s foray onto the runway during busy Fashion Week reflects a growing focus on the fiber in luxury goods from home fashions to apparel. Preferences for Supima by cutting-edge designers such as Morgan d’Alessandro put American Pima cotton in the spotlight of an industry ever hungry for style, versatility and luxury.

“We are very lucky to have come in contact with Supima,” the designers said in a statement. “We feel by adding it to our line, we have increased the quality and stature of our product, and our customers have definitely noticed the difference.”

Supima is the promotional group for American Pima cotton growers whose product carries the Supima® brand.

Textile News Index


Pickin' Cotton

Huge production numbers likely to weigh on market

October 25, 2004

By Odyll Santos

Record U.S. cotton production for the 2004-05 marketing year, as seen in USDA’s latest supply/demand report on Oct. 12, caused New York cotton prices to fall. While prices recovered by the end of the trading week, the prospect of a huge crop in the U.S. as well as the world, is likely to weigh on the market.

USDA’s October report showed that the U.S. will produce 21.54 million 480-pound bales of cotton in 2004-05. The October crop figure is 640,000 above the September projection and most importantly, represents a record high. USDA also projected domestic mill use unchanged at 6.10 million bales, while it raised exports 100,000 bales to 12.30 million bales. USDA projected ending stocks for the current season at 6.70 million bales.

In addition, USDA projected world production at 109.67 million bales, up 2.42 million bales from the September report. It raised world mill use by 550,000 bales from the September report to 101.40 million bales, with world ending stocks projected at 41.95 million bales.

Cotton marketing specialist O.A. Cleveland noted that the Dec. cotton contract closed at 46.52 cents per pound the day before the report, traded down to a low of 43.75 cents the day USDA data were released, then eventually recovered its losses and closed again at 46.52 cents two days after the report. What many analysts and observers viewed as a very bearish USDA report appeared to have left the market unchanged. Cleveland, however, believes market observers have to look beyond the Dec contract’s performance.

“The market fundamentals suggest prices should be ... in the mid 30s, but prices float to the top after each bearish report,” Cleveland said in market commentary for the week ended Oct. 15. “This market has a lot more time to spend in the 46- to 49-cent range, basis December futures ... I’ll keep my bearish posture, but don’t look for December to make new lows. The real pressure will come on the March contract when the world is awash with cotton looking for a home.”

Cleveland noted that most of the world crop is being harvested and will be ready to come to market in the next four to six weeks, putting pressure on cotton prices. The Dec. contract, however, is likely to escape much of that pressure. Carryover stocks from the previous season are considered to be “sufficiently low” and are likely to keep cotton prices from collapsing until most of the current season’s crop comes to market. “These signs point to March futures as the contract that is the most susceptible to making new life-of-contract lows,” he said.

Cleveland said Dec. should receive support from the fact that growers have few incentives to sell cotton in the cash market. Growers are expected to place their cotton in the government loan program as they wait for higher prices. Crops in the Mid-South and the western U.S., and a large portion of the West Texas crop may be put in the loan program, removing them from the market. That would create “an artificial tightness in supply,” which would be supportive to Dec. futures in the mid 40-cent area. “This would allow for the market to occasionally run to the 50-cent level, likely just high enough to get some loan cotton to move in the spot market and fill the textile demand pipeline,” Cleveland said.

Textile News Index


Editorial

October 25, 2004

Chesnutt rebuts with zeal, skill

DURING THE ANNUAL MEETING of the North Carolina Manufacturers Association (NCMA) meeting last year, outgoing Chairman Jim Cowan called Jim Chesnutt a “modern-day Rocky Balboa.” This year, during the group’s 98th annual meeting, outgoing Chairman Tom McCall called the National Spinning Co. president and CEO “our resident textile evangelist.” So you can surmise that Chesnutt, if you’ve never met him, is someone who represents the underdog in all of us — and is passionate, outspoken and on message. Indeed, in a “fight” that matched the hype, he exuded all of those traits during the NCMA’s recent gathering in Greensboro, NC.

Chesnutt, former chairman of the group and currently vice chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), was on the docket to give a formal “response” to remarks made by Jim Leonard, deputy assistant secretary of Commerce within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Not that Chesnutt really needed a foil to deliver a “sermon” — just an audience. Or maybe not even that.

Afterward, a brief point-counterpoint sparring match ensued, with these two professed friends giving a mini-version of a leftover bout last year. The tête-à-tête would’ve made for better TV than the three recent presidential debates, though under a different format. Both were gentlemen, save for a couple of salty words by Chesnutt, who later apologized for letting his “blackberries” out.

CERTAINLY, LEONARD understands the pain the industry is enduring, having served most of his career at Burlington Industries. He is a good go-between for the industry and his boss, Secretary of Commerce Grant Aldonas, who answers of course to the president. Being an industry insider, Leonard has probably played a major role in raising the consciousness of textile issues within the administration.

Even President Bush touched on those issues during a recent visit to Charlotte. During a town hall forum that featured three local women, including a former textile employee, Bush said, “I know what it’s like here with the textile industry,” said Bush, later mentioning Pillowtex in a conversation with one of its former employee on stage. “It’s been hit hard.” He defended his support for free trade, but also mentioned that the government enacted earlier safeguards against China textile imports. “What I’m saying to other nations is, ‘You treat us the way we treat you.’ If you want to trade with us and you treat us fairly, Americans can compete with anybody, anytime, anywhere.”

DURING HIS REBUTTAL at the NCMA meeting, Chesnutt acknowledged that the administration has begun to at least recognize the cause-and-effect link between U.S. trade policy and the domestic textile industry’s demise. But he also warned of the dangers of putting one’s faith and fate in Washington, which he asserts is controlled by special interests, notably the multinational companies.

Again, Chesnutt did a superb job airing the concerns of what’s left of the U.S. textile industry to a government official — with quite a few personal opinions thrown in — and Leonard was a good sounding board (and a good sport). Both men held their ground when challenged.

Doubtful Chesnutt will ever run for national office, given the many times he has decried Washington as a corrupt place, but he would definitely make a good civil servant. He would win a lot of points with his zeal, oratorical skill and convictions, along with his willingness to take up the fight for the underdog. And Leonard will tell you as much.

Given the four-letter words that occasionally manage to slip out of Chesnutt’s mouth in the heat of the moment, he may not be “presidential” enough to run for the nation’s top elected office. But that may help qualify him for the veep slot one day.

Textile News Index